Spring Training: One Thing to Watch From All 30 Teams - AL East


We all know the biggest story out there is the fact teams have begun reporting for Spring Training and Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain jobless.  Blame the owners or blame the players' demands for 300 million dollar contracts.  Regardless where you want to point the finger, there is still way more other spring storylines you should be monitoring.  Each week I will take you through a division and highlight a situation that should intrigue you regardless of fandom to get your baseball blood flowing.  Leading off...the American League East.

Boston Red Sox

Will the real David Price please stand up?  Or how about Chris Sale's shoulder?  What's really going on in there?  But I am going to focus on something that intrigues me a lot more than either of those headlines.  Nathan Eovaldi.  Evoladi has had not one, but two Tommy John surgeries, and now has logged some miles on that right elbow after that World Series run last October.  A run that propelled him to a 4 year, 68 million dollar contract.  Will that deal pay off for Boston, or will Eovaldi fall back to the inconsistency he showed when he donned pinstripes?  Only time will tell, but seeing how he looks early on in Grapefruit play should give us an early glimpse into which direction he plans on heading.

New York Yankees

Clint Frazier intrigues me, and he should you also, so much.  Once considered one of, if not the, top outfield prospect in baseball when the Yankees acquired him from Cleveland, he has gotten lost in the shuffle.  After suffering through a serious and scary concussion early in Spring Training play a year ago, that left him with lingering headaches and vertigo, he finally has a clean bill of health.  He is heralded for his incredible bat speed, but is still stuck in a log jam for playing time in New York.  The Yankees brought back Brett Gardner for another year and are still stuck under Jacoby Ellsbury's contract.  The Yankees seem set on having Aaron Hicks as the everyday center fielder and you know Judge is in right.  The fact that Gardner is back tells you right there they are not moving on from him.  Ideally, at a minimum Yankees fans would want to see Gardner in a platoon role playing against righties and sitting against lefties in lieu of Frazier.  However, Frazier still has minor league options, so barring an injury to one of the Yankees outfielders, he may once again be shipped to Scranton Wilkes-Barre.  A hot spring may force the Yankees hands though. It should be interesting to watch it play out.

Toronto Blue Jays

This one is simple right?  We have seen the videos of the mammoth home runs and have heard the overwhelming crack of the bat.  Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is destined to be a star in this league just like his father.  The sad part is he will more than likely get the Kris Bryant treatment and be sent to Triple A for a couple weeks so Toronto gains an extra year of control over him.  Watch him in Spring Training to get your fix, or else you're waiting until mid April to see him again.  Also, if you are going to Blue Jays Spring training, do not park your car over the left field wall.

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay has more going on than you may think at first glance.  First off, the reigning AL Cy Young winner in Blake Snell will be looking to propel himself as one of the league's best pitchers.  They also have Tommy Pham, who came over in the second half last season and tore the cover off of the ball (.343 average in Tampa) for the Rays.  The one story line to focus on is their continued youth, as it seems every year they are pumping out young talent.  This season they start with once highly touted outfield prospect Austin Meadows in right field.  Meadows has the talent but was constantly shot down with the injury bug in Pittsburgh.  They have Blake Honeywell coming back from Tommy John surgery.  Again, a once top prospect.  And they also have arguably the top shortstop prospect in baseball, who you will see this Spring, Wander Franco.  Tune into some Rays Spring Training and you will more than likely see some long balls by the young SS.  They may not have household names yet, but this team is going to be exciting, and that in itself is reason to pay attention.

Baltimore Orioles

Again, the centerpiece of these articles will be for Spring Training,  So with the focus on Spring Training, Baltimore has something, or someone I should say, to look forward too.  Sent over in the Manny Machado deal, Yusniel Diaz was the prize possession Baltimore got in return.  Displaying light tower power, which was on full display in last season's Futures Game with a pair of long home runs, Diaz will get a couple weeks in big league camp to show what he is capable of doing.  Still only 18, it is scary he can get even better.  Diaz tore through High A ball a year ago as one of the youngest players in the league, and got the late call up to Double A for the final month where he did nothing but slash .333/.390/.491 in that month.  If there is anyone to focus on down in Sarasota, Florida, for the next month, it's Diaz.

Be on the lookout for AL Central edition next week.

Follow Ryan on Twitter and ask your fantasy questions @BesseBoy.

Questions, comments, or ideas for the weekly podcast? Use @BostonSportsSYN.



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Boston Sports Syndicate: Spring Training: One Thing to Watch From All 30 Teams - AL East
Spring Training: One Thing to Watch From All 30 Teams - AL East
Boston Sports Syndicate
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